VB21This brief argues that, while reporting and information sharing on nuclear security have only played a limited role in the nuclear security field so far, these activities could significantly contribute to further reinforcing nuclear security worldwide.

The first half of the paper provides an overview of the utility and potential uses of international reporting; some of the key challenges to wider use of reporting in service of the nuclear security regime; and, of the current extent of international reporting under it. It argues that depending on the specific approach taken, international reporting can support the global nuclear security regime in different ways: these can range from introducing a formal verification system akin to that used in IAEA Safeguards (an ambitious proposal that is unlikely to become reality in the foreseeable future), to less intrusive but nonetheless valuable approaches that support confidence-building and experience-sharing. The key obstacles to increased information-sharing in nuclear security are identified as state-level national security concerns, and, importantly, the fragmented nature of the international nuclear security regime itself, that involves a plurality of policy initiatives, international bodies, and legal instruments both binding and voluntary in nature.

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